“Charles Link, 53, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to nine years in prison on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon stemming from the stabbing of a man in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Link was found guilty by a jury in October 2013, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan. Upon completion of his prison term, Link will be placed on three years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence at trial, the victim and Link were close friends for more than four years. They socialized together and played chess, and the victim even helped Link at his job at a funeral home. From time to time, Link would loan the victim small amounts of money. In the fall of 2012, the two men got into a disagreement over the repayment of a $20 loan. The victim had given Link his food assistance card and had told Link to use it to buy $40 of food, to cover the $20 debt. When Link never used the card and failed to return it, the victim cancelled the card so that he could get a new one and access his food benefits.
On the evening of Nov. 13, 2012, as the victim was walking near his home, he encountered Link and the two began arguing over the debt. When the victim reached the entrance to an alley off the 500 block of Newton Place NW, he was pushed from behind by an unidentified man and fell to the ground. Link joined in the attack and kicked and punched the victim, stating “get me my money.” Link then pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim five times – twice in the chest and rib cage. He and the unidentified man fled, leaving the victim bleeding in an alley.
In sentencing the defendant, Judge Canan took note of that fact that Link was convicted in 1993 of second-degree murder while armed in another stabbing in the District of Columbia. In that case, he and another person stabbed a man to death in an alley over a petty disagreement about moving trash. Link was sentenced to 15 years in prison for that attack.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department, including detectives from the Fourth Police District. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Wanda Trice and Debra McPherson. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Vivien Cockburn and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Trevor N. McFadden, who assisted in the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittain Shaw, who investigated and prosecuted the case.”